Do not be afraid to re-use the same terms over and over, especially when they are key terms in an argument. If you mean to talk about the same concept throughout, use the same term throughout. As a rule, you should not use quotes. A series of quotes strung together, even creatively strung together, is not a paper. The main reason to quote a passage is to make it more convenient for you to talk about what the passage says and to make it more convenient for your reader as well.
Thus, you should not rely on a quotation to answer a key part of the question. Answer in your own words instead. You should, however, include textual references. Whenever you make a claim about what is said in the text, it is appropriate to provide a specific reference to back up your claim. For short papers using class texts, footnotes are not necessary; it is sufficient to make parenthetical references, such as Meno 77b.
Write until you have said what you need to say, not until you hit the page limit. The problem should be to confine your paper to the page limit, not to stretch out your paper to the minimum required. You may end up with a first draft that is too long, but at a later stage you can go back through your work and see whether there are sentences or paragraphs that are not really necessary or that can be made more concise. The point is that you will be better able to evaluate what is truly important if you have included everything on your first draft.
Finally, do not try to compose your paper, from start to finish, in one session — especially not the night before it is due. Make sure that you have the chance to write a first draft and then let it percolate for awhile.
Very few people are able to dash off a good paper in one sitting! Do briefly tell your reader what your paper is about and what your main thesis is. Notice that there is a difference between telling your reader what you are going to talk about and telling your reader what you will argue. In the Meno , Meno presents Socrates with a paradox about inquiry. Thus, we reach the paradoxical conclusion that inquiry is impossible.
In what follows, I will argue that Socrates does not adequately defend his theory of recollection. The second of these introductions is superior to the first. Notice that only the second presents an actual thesis statement. Sometimes you will be in a better position to write an introduction after you have written the main body of your paper, for you will then have a better idea of what your argument really is.
Be first one to rate! Philosophy studies as a discipline. How to write a philosophy essay? Hence, it will be easy for you to grasp the preparation process of these works, especially with the following tips: Study all requirements carefully.
In order to understand how to create a research paper on philosophy, you need to understand the philosophy of research first, if to put it poetically. Without knowing the exact directions, you will not be able to study the topic in the appropriate manner. Check what is required from you, and what the instructor expects to see in the final paper beforehand, and do your best to meet these expectations when writing.
If you were given or have chosen the topic on your own, it is paramount to conduct a quality research on it. While web articles on philosophy are not the best to start with, you can look through the sources they refer to and check whether the books and journals mentioned are relevant and credible enough to read.
Try to access only scholarly websites, or limit your search to the libraries, whether online or actual ones. Manage time and resources properly. Try to calculate how much time approximately you need for the completion of each task, like topic choice, research, writing, editing, etc. This way you will prepare everything on time, and you won't have to rush with any of the processes important for the successful philosophy coursework accomplishment. Create a template you will use for writing your dissertation.
Philosophy dissertations should have a standard structure, so outline each section you plan to include, think about the appropriate headings and details that have to be mentioned in each part. When you know what you will write about and how to allocate every piece of information, you can start making a draft.
Do not think too much about the way you put the words on the paper. Just create sentences that convey what is needed, and do not bother about style or the mistakes.
Once you have a draft, use it to write a final paper. Even paraphrasing should be kept to a minimum. After all, it is your paper. It is your thoughts that your instructor is concerned with. Keep that in mind, especially when your essay topic requires you to critically assess someone else's views.
Do not present a number of positions in your paper and then end by saying that you are not qualified to settle the matter. In particular, do not close by saying that philosophers have been divided over this issue for as long as humans have been keeping record and you cannot be expected to resolve the dispute in a few short pages.
Your instructor knows that. But you can be expected to take a clear stand based on an evaluation of the argument s presented. Go out on a limb. If you have argued well, it will support you. Good philosophical writing usually has an air of simple dignity about it.
Your topic is no joke. No writers whose views you have been asked to read are idiots. If you think they are, then you have not understood them. Name calling is inappropriate and could never substitute for careful argumentation anyway. You are guilty of begging the question or circular reasoning on a particular issue if you somehow presuppose the truth of whatever it is that you are trying to show in the course of arguing for it.
Here is a quick example. If Smith argues that abortion is morally wrong on the grounds that it amounts to murder, Smith begs the question. Smith presupposes a particular stand on the moral status of abortion - the stand represented by the conclusion of the argument. To see that this is so, notice that the person who denies the conclusion - that abortion is morally wrong - will not accept Smith's premise that it amounts to murder, since murder is, by definition, morally wrong.
When arguing against other positions, it is important to realize that you cannot show that your opponents are mistaken just by claiming that their overall conclusions are false. Nor will it do simply to claim that at least one of their premises is false. You must demonstrate these sorts of things, and in a fashion that does not presuppose that your position is correct.
Before you start to write make an outline of how you want to argue. There should be a logical progression of ideas - one that will be easy for the reader to follow. If your paper is well organized, the reader will be led along in what seems a natural way. If you jump about in your essay, the reader will balk. It will take a real effort to follow you, and he or she may feel it not worthwhile.
It is a good idea to let your outline simmer for a few days before you write your first draft. Does it still seem to flow smoothly when you come back to it? If not, the best prose in the world will not be enough to make it work. Use the right words. Once you have determined your outline, you must select the exact words that will convey your meaning to the reader. A dictionary is almost essential here.
Do not settle for a word that you think comes close to capturing the sense you have in mind. Notice that "infer" does not mean "imply"; "disinterested" does not mean "uninterested"; and "reference" does not mean either "illusion" or "allusion. Notice that certain words such as "therefore," "hence," "since," and "follows from" are strong logical connectives. When you use such expressions you are asserting that certain tight logical relations hold between the claims in question.
You had better be right. Finally, check the spelling of any word you are not sure of. There is no excuse for "existance" appearing in any philosophy essay. Assume that your reader is constantly asking such questions as "Why should I accept that? Most first attempts at writing philosophy essays fall down on this point. Substantiate your claims whenever there is reason to think that your critics would not grant them.
When quoting or paraphrasing, always give some citation. Indicate your indebtedness, whether it is for specific words, general ideas, or a particular line of argument. To use another writer's words, ideas, or arguments as if they were your own is to plagiarize.
Good writing is the product of proper training, much practice, and hard work. The following remarks, though they will not guarantee a top quality paper, should help you determine where best to direct your efforts. I offer first some general comments on philosophical writing, and then some specific.
A Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper The Challenges of Philosophical Writing The aim of the assignments in your philosophy classes is to get you doing philosophy. But what is philosophy, and how is it to be done? The answer is complicated. Philosophers .
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